'''William Wilkie Collins''' (8 January 1824 – 23 September 1889) was an English novelist, playwright
, and short story writer. His best-known works are ''The Woman in White (novel)|The Woman in White
'' (1859), ''No Name (novel)|No Name
'' (1862), ''Armadale (novel)|Armadale
'' (1866), and ''The Moonstone
'' (1868). The last is considered the first modern English detective novel
Born into the family of painter William Collins (painter)|William Collins
in London, he lived with his family in Italy
as a child and learned French and Italian. He worked as a clerk for a tea merchant.
After his first novel, ''Antonina,'' was published in 1850, he met Charles Dickens
, who became a close friend, mentor and collaborator. Some of Collins's works were first published in Dickens' journals ''All the Year Round
'' and ''Household Words
'' and the two collaborated on drama and fiction.